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  • FIRST POST
    • BlindJudge
    • By BlindJudge 10th Nov 18, 9:57 AM
    • 7Posts
    • 3Thanks
    BlindJudge
    TUPE is my new contract automatically void?
    • #1
    • 10th Nov 18, 9:57 AM
    TUPE is my new contract automatically void? 10th Nov 18 at 9:57 AM
    Hi all.

    Hereís the short question:
    Do I need to take court action against a blatant change of contract in a transfer of Undertakings, or is the contract automatically void and I donít have to worry?

    I donít want to rock the boat unnecessarily.


    Background story:

    Two weeks ago my old employer who was struggling to keep the business going gave us, the employees, the good news we were all hoping for. A bigger company with a great future bought us. Woohoo!

    There was one condition to close the deal: all employment contracts had to be swapped with what all other employees at new company had. If we didnít sign it the deal was off.

    We, begrudgingly, signed it as the employer has great Glassdoor reviews going a few years back. The company is American and they cannot get their heads around the differences in European employment rules.

    The most concerning contract changes are:
    • Notice period from 1 or 3 months to 1 week
    • Contract start date reset

    Itís quite clear in the TUPE directives that the new contract is void, but I cannot find explanations whether I have to get the annulment of the new contract in court now so that Iím truly protected a year down the line.

    The time limit for TUPE claims is 3 months only.

    Iíd rather not as I donít see how I could still work there with the bad feelings this would bring and I donít want to look for new work.

    Iím getting better paid and have shares in the company, also many experts in the industry congratulated me as this company is set to be huge.

    I just want the peace of mind that I still have protection of better notice and continuous contact time.

    Thank you all in advance!
Page 1
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 10th Nov 18, 10:14 AM
    • 5,640 Posts
    • 9,736 Thanks
    sangie595
    • #2
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:14 AM
    • #2
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:14 AM
    I'd hate to see a long question from you!

    Sorry. No peace of mind. And no having it both ways either. Your agreed to the change in contact. TUPE no longer covers you. Full stop. No arguments.

    On the other hand TUPE provides absolutely none of the protections people think it does - it's a paper tiger. The new company could have enforced a change almost immediately, would almost certainly have been able to defeat any legal action - without giving you better pay, shares and the rest.

    Gift horses comes to mind. You are bound by the terms that you agreed. TUPE does not apply to the contractual change because you agreed it.
    • Ozzuk
    • By Ozzuk 10th Nov 18, 10:14 AM
    • 1,484 Posts
    • 2,149 Thanks
    Ozzuk
    • #3
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:14 AM
    • #3
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:14 AM
    Hmm, I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will come along, but my thoughts are it is fine to offer a new contract during TUPE, but you should have the option to take your old contract terms across.

    Sadly you have accepted a new contract so these are your new terms. My team got TUPE'd a few years ago, some took new contract, some took old. I don't know how far you'd get arguing you were made to sign it, if the alternative was closure/redundancy then you likely didn't have much choice.

    To be honest, they could argue that the terms need to change anyway for economic reasons. What is less clear to me is the legality of 1 week notice and contract date reset - does the latter mean they are ignoring years of service? If so, I don't think they can do that.
    • nicechap
    • By nicechap 10th Nov 18, 10:15 AM
    • 1,396 Posts
    • 2,770 Thanks
    nicechap
    • #4
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:15 AM
    • #4
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:15 AM
    Hi all.

    Here’s the short question:
    Do I need to take court action against a blatant change of contract in a transfer of Undertakings, or is the contract automatically void and I don’t have to worry?

    I don’t want to rock the boat unnecessarily.


    Background story:

    Two weeks ago my old employer who was struggling to keep the business going gave us, the employees, the good news we were all hoping for. A bigger company with a great future bought us. Woohoo!

    There was one condition to close the deal: all employment contracts had to be swapped with what all other employees at new company had. If we didn’t sign it the deal was off.

    We, begrudgingly, signed it as the employer has great Glassdoor reviews going a few years back. The company is American and they cannot get their heads around the differences in European employment rules.

    The most concerning contract changes are:
    • Notice period from 1 or 3 months to 1 week
    • Contract start date reset

    It’s quite clear in the TUPE directives that the new contract is void, but I cannot find explanations whether I have to get the annulment of the new contract in court now so that I’m truly protected a year down the line.

    The time limit for TUPE claims is 3 months only.

    I’d rather not as I don’t see how I could still work there with the bad feelings this would bring and I don’t want to look for new work.

    I’m getting better paid and have shares in the company, also many experts in the industry congratulated me as this company is set to be huge.

    I just want the peace of mind that I still have protection of better notice and continuous contact time.

    Thank you all in advance!
    Originally posted by BlindJudge
    I very much doubt if a big American company cannot get their head around European employment law. Its probably because they actually have understood the difference that they wanted you to sign new contracts.

    You've signed a new contract and in addition accepted their terms & pay by behaviour.

    Any new terms and conditions must be compliant with UK/ EU legislation.
    Last edited by nicechap; 10-11-2018 at 10:18 AM.
    ďNever argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.Ē - George Carlin
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 10th Nov 18, 10:16 AM
    • 33,472 Posts
    • 20,228 Thanks
    getmore4less
    • #5
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:16 AM
    • #5
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:16 AM
    TUPE only protects at the point of transfer and you have agreed to new contract at the point of transfer.

    The most concerning contract changes are:
    Notice period from 1 or 3 months to 1 week
    Contract start date reset
    Contract cannot override statutory provisions(with a few exceptions).

    Statutory notice is 1 week employee,1 week per year upto 12 employer

    TUPE protects continuity of employment.


    What sort of company were you working for, TUPE may not apply.

    eg. a buy out of a LTD company(shares) is not a TUPE as the employer does not change just the owners.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 10th Nov 18, 10:18 AM
    • 5,640 Posts
    • 9,736 Thanks
    sangie595
    • #6
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:18 AM
    • #6
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:18 AM
    Ps. I just reread that and the contract start date can't be reset though (i.e the start date of continuous service) if TUPE applies. But that usually wouldn't change just because you get another contact. You'd get a start date for that contract, but it wouldn't shift continuous service. I'm not sure that you meant continuous service - it wasn't clear
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 10th Nov 18, 10:24 AM
    • 5,640 Posts
    • 9,736 Thanks
    sangie595
    • #7
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:24 AM
    • #7
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:24 AM
    I very much doubt if a big American company cannot get their head around European employment law. Its probably because they actually have understood the difference that they wanted you to sign new contracts.
    Originally posted by nicechap
    You'd be amazed, but that isn't true! US companies often think they can continue to act as they do in the US, where employment law is almost non-existent. Case in point, Wal-Mart, who spend half their time in employment tribunals. It's part of the "the US is huge and runs the world so the world had to do what we say" syndrome. It's not working for them, but, typically, they haven't noticed.
    • stator
    • By stator 10th Nov 18, 11:11 AM
    • 6,597 Posts
    • 4,437 Thanks
    stator
    • #8
    • 10th Nov 18, 11:11 AM
    • #8
    • 10th Nov 18, 11:11 AM
    The terms in your new contract that are worse than your old contract are void.
    Ther terms in your new contract that are better than your old contract are still in force.
    Yes, you do get the best of both worlds, yes it is the companies fault for thinking they can ignore the law.



    If you start moaning about TUPE now, you will put yourself out of favour in your new company.



    Sit back and do nothing. This works in your favour.

    If the employer tries to violate the terms of your old contract, then you take them to an employment tribunal and win. If they don't, then you carry on working for them.
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 10th Nov 18, 11:25 AM
    • 33,472 Posts
    • 20,228 Thanks
    getmore4less
    • #9
    • 10th Nov 18, 11:25 AM
    • #9
    • 10th Nov 18, 11:25 AM
    I would have a close look at what has happened.

    Did they really buy your old company?

    Might they have convinced you to resign and join the new company.

    Bought assets off the old company.

    Leaving the old company to be dissolved.
    • BlindJudge
    • By BlindJudge 10th Nov 18, 11:37 AM
    • 7 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    BlindJudge
    The terms in your new contract that are worse than your old contract are void.
    Ther terms in your new contract that are better than your old contract are still in force.
    Yes, you do get the best of both worlds, yes it is the companies fault for thinking they can ignore the law.



    If you start moaning about TUPE now, you will put yourself out of favour in your new company.



    Sit back and do nothing. This works in your favour.

    If the employer tries to violate the terms of your old contract, then you take them to an employment tribunal and win. If they don't, then you carry on working for them.
    Thank you for your reply! Itís sad how many employees donít know their rights as per other replies, thatís why companies try to pull these and usually get away with it, e.g. even the employee cannot agree to a change in contract exactly because of this kind of situation.

    All I needed to know is that I can leave things as they are for now.

    Thank you
    • BlindJudge
    • By BlindJudge 10th Nov 18, 11:47 AM
    • 7 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    BlindJudge
    I would have a close look at what has happened.

    Did they really buy your old company?

    Might they have convinced you to resign and join the new company.

    Bought assets off the old company.

    Leaving the old company to be dissolved.
    Originally posted by getmore4less
    The old company kept its shares and will remain active for tax purposes. The new company bought the workforce only because we are a perfect fit and itís faster for them than hiring people one by one.
    • nicechap
    • By nicechap 10th Nov 18, 11:49 AM
    • 1,396 Posts
    • 2,770 Thanks
    nicechap
    Thank you for your reply! Itís sad how many employees donít know their rights as per other replies, thatís why companies try to pull these and usually get away with it, e.g. even the employee cannot agree to a change in contract exactly because of this kind of situation.

    All I needed to know is that I can leave things as they are for now.

    Thank you
    Originally posted by BlindJudge

    As you seem to have known the answer to your own question before you posted, please do come back and update us if/ when things go wrong.
    ďNever argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.Ē - George Carlin
    • BlindJudge
    • By BlindJudge 10th Nov 18, 11:53 AM
    • 7 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    BlindJudge
    I'd hate to see a long question from you!

    Sorry. No peace of mind. And no having it both ways either. Your agreed to the change in contact. TUPE no longer covers you. Full stop. No arguments.

    On the other hand TUPE provides absolutely none of the protections people think it does - it's a paper tiger. The new company could have enforced a change almost immediately, would almost certainly have been able to defeat any legal action - without giving you better pay, shares and the rest.

    Gift horses comes to mind. You are bound by the terms that you agreed. TUPE does not apply to the contractual change because you agreed it.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    In my defence the question was one paragraph long with a follow up background.

    Iím glad and sad that you are terribly mistaken with your point on TUPE.

    Iím glad because none of that is true for me but sad that youíll probably misinform more people.

    The TUPE directives are blatantly clear and I have no questions regarding the validity that the new contract is void, I just cannot find about what actions, of any I need to take.

    As you came across very confident on this issue Iíll spare myself from directing you to the correct information.
    • BlindJudge
    • By BlindJudge 10th Nov 18, 11:59 AM
    • 7 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    BlindJudge
    As you seem to have known the answer to your own question before you posted, please do come back and update us if/ when things go wrong.
    Originally posted by nicechap
    I can see my question could have been better constructed. I meant to ask is if I leave things as they are, will the contract be recognised as void or do I have to take actions to void it.
    • Beverley Hillbillies
    • By Beverley Hillbillies 10th Nov 18, 12:09 PM
    • 104 Posts
    • 23 Thanks
    Beverley Hillbillies
    Iím glad and sad that you are terribly mistaken with your point on TUPE
    Originally posted by BlindJudge
    Nothing new from that particular member

    Iím sad that youíll probably misinform more people
    Originally posted by BlindJudge
    Misinformation from this member occurs more frequently than it should

    As you came across very confident on this issue Iíll spare myself from directing you to the correct information.
    Originally posted by BlindJudge
    There's a difference between confidence & cockiness, one day, the member may realise, although I won't hold my breath

    It's to be hoped that member is never selected for jury service
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 10th Nov 18, 1:12 PM
    • 33,472 Posts
    • 20,228 Thanks
    getmore4less
    Are you sure they have TUPEd you what contract or services did they sell.

    They could have just convinced you to resign and join the new company.
    Last edited by getmore4less; 10-11-2018 at 2:00 PM.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 10th Nov 18, 1:43 PM
    • 5,640 Posts
    • 9,736 Thanks
    sangie595
    Thank you for your reply! Itís sad how many employees donít know their rights as per other replies, thatís why companies try to pull these and usually get away with it, e.g. even the employee cannot agree to a change in contract exactly because of this kind of situation.

    All I needed to know is that I can leave things as they are for now.

    Thank you
    Originally posted by BlindJudge
    I have no idea why that poster posted what they did. And I'm not about to start a new game with the troll. The advice you have been given is wrong. Take it and rely on it at your peril. But I suspect that your are nothing more than another alter ego, so there's no job and no TUPE.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 10th Nov 18, 1:45 PM
    • 5,640 Posts
    • 9,736 Thanks
    sangie595
    In my defence the question was one paragraph long with a follow up background.

    Iím glad and sad that you are terribly mistaken with your point on TUPE.

    Iím glad because none of that is true for me but sad that youíll probably misinform more people.

    The TUPE directives are blatantly clear and I have no questions regarding the validity that the new contract is void, I just cannot find about what actions, of any I need to take.

    As you came across very confident on this issue Iíll spare myself from directing you to the correct information.
    Originally posted by BlindJudge
    Shame you are wrong. Just so that anyone reading this thread who really is in this situation knows not to rely on your opinion as advice.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 10th Nov 18, 1:47 PM
    • 5,640 Posts
    • 9,736 Thanks
    sangie595
    The terms in your new contract that are worse than your old contract are void.
    Ther terms in your new contract that are better than your old contract are still in force.
    Yes, you do get the best of both worlds, yes it is the companies fault for thinking they can ignore the law.



    If you start moaning about TUPE now, you will put yourself out of favour in your new company.



    Sit back and do nothing. This works in your favour.

    If the employer tries to violate the terms of your old contract, then you take them to an employment tribunal and win. If they don't, then you carry on working for them.
    Originally posted by stator
    Why would you say this? You must surely be aware that there is nothing at all legally correct in this advice? And that's assuming that TUPE even applies, which we don't know.
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 10th Nov 18, 1:50 PM
    • 3,576 Posts
    • 3,261 Thanks
    Undervalued
    You'd be amazed, but that isn't true! US companies often think they can continue to act as they do in the US, where employment law is almost non-existent.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    Indeed.

    Sadly many of them think the world ends at the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

    Those a touch more enlightened still stopped coming to the UK during the Gulf war as they thought Baghdad was an hour down the road from London.

    Many still think the first American to go abroad was Neil Armstrong.
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